Healthy Living

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“It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at 29 than she was 10 years before” – Jane Austen

Don’t worry, I’m not 29 yet (getting close though!) but this popped out at me, and I felt so inspired to write about it! I don’t know about more beautiful… but I’m certainly more confident.  Does anyone else get that?

I’m halfway to my goals, rather than just starting out. I’ve slowed down enough to realize that it’s not about getting there as much as appreciating the journey. Unless I appreciate the journey, I’m always going to be looking to the next thing! Besides, it’s my training runs that are going to get me where I need to be for my next race, so I might as well embrace and enjoy it! It’s my yoga class that’s going to make sure I’m not too tight and help me avoid injury.

Maybe it’s my training runs, maybe the yoga, or maybe just growing up, I’m learning to love the moment I’m in. I spent my entire undergrad rushing through life to get where I thought I wanted to be, that I missed out on a lot of “in the moment” stuff. Once I graduated, ready to “start my life” I realized that some of my biggest moments had already happened, and I didn’t savor them like I wanted too because I was too busy. So I’m committing this year to learning to dedicate my practice or run to something that I’m super intentional about- like making a decision or processing big news, or loving my hubs in the way that he needs; in the moment. I might not be more beautiful at 29, but I sure want to be more confident, kind and intentional than I was 10 years before!

Favorite Fall Trails

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All I can say is that I LOVE fall! Did a long run (for me) and took it slow in my favorite park. I would have to say I enjoy running in the fall much more than in any other season, especially here in Virginia Beach. The fall colors are breathtaking, the temperatures are around 40-50F which is far more bearable for this Canadian born girl, and it such a fresh reprieve from the summer heat!
But after running in the heat all summer, here are some tips to running safely in the fall 🙂

1. With the decrease of hours, for those of us that work full time, 8-5, fitting in a run can be tough during daylight hours. Wear highly reflective clothing, but if that’s not an option (taking the bank account into consideration), try this amazing reflective tape from Home Depot. Always wear I.D. on you when going for a run… you never know what’s going to happen.

2. ICE. “In Case of Emergency” contact in your phone (if you carry it with you). Keep it updated with someone who can respond if someone needs to make an ICE call on your behalf.

3. I’ve had to layer quite a bit more than the shorts and tank-top I wear in the summer! But sometimes when I get out there, I find I’m put on too much clothing and starting to overheat. So I make a mental note of what would be perfect layering options while I’m out there, and the next time it’s that temperature (always check the weather so you are prepared!), I don’t get out there with too much on. Sometimes I stash my jacket in a safe place once I warm up…

4. Even if you aren’t thirsty, you can get dehyradated! While on my run today, I stopped for water a couple times, which is as much as if I’m summer running. Do what’s best for your body. Maybe you don’t need as much water as I do, but definitely don’t forget about hydrating.

5. Start your run into the wind. The wind will be at your back on the way home, and you’ll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you’ve been sweating.

6. Watch out for snow or wet leaves! Take shorter steps when tracking across these areas to ensure you can catch yourself if you slip!

7. Take your camera like I did! These leaves and colors aren’t going to last forever!


That’s all the running tips I’ve got for you guys today, what are some of your tips to stay safe and warm?

Ask a Runner: Increasing Mileage

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Question from my reader:

How do I build up my endurance? I can run a 5k race, but I’m trying to build up my endurance for a half-marathon this winter. I’m exhausted by the end of my run, and don’t know how to increase my mileage.

My Perspective:

I built up really slowly in order to prepare for my half-marathons because of my busy schedule. Once I felt comfortable doing three miles consistently, I upped it to 3.5 miles, and pushed my long run to 5 miles. I felt SO accomplished my first 5 mile run! Several weeks later I increased my daily run to four miles during the week, and kept increasing my long run on the weekend according to the Hal Higdon Training Plan.

Also, diet is vital. Cutting out my sugar and carbs really helped in increasing my energy. I started eating a lot of Cliff Bars, but they get expensive quickly, so I started making my own protein bars! I don’t post a lot of recipes but this one is great for having enough energy to kick out a run in the afternoon. I also like to eat a banana and peanut butter about 10 minutes before my run.

Finally, take a day off here and there (about twice a week) to work in the gym doing planks, weights, squats and lunches. This keeps you from losing all your muscle due to the increased mileage.

Eating Healthier

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As a runner, it’s so easy to think “It’s OK, I’m going to run today” and proceed to eat whatever I want. Which is pretty often ice cream, chocolate, brownies… and then I make myself sick. And is not definitely not healthy.

Another Mother Runner

OR it’s the OTHER extreme, and I eat tons when I really don’t need to be eating all that. One of my new years resolutions was to eat more veggies (which is hard to do with such a busy schedule), and I’ve been able to incorporate them into my daily routine, but I want to set higher goals than that (no, I’m not starting the Paleo diet… yet).

Cutting out white flour and sugar is about as lofty of the goals that I’ll setting this summer, while trying to run in the summer heat!
I’m in Virginia, and SERIOUSLY this humility is worse than usual (since  I’d really know what usual is since this is my second May here!).

There are a few really important things to include in your diet is you are a woman running. The first and foremost thing you should be worrying about is your iron levels (this is the one I struggle with the most). This is vital in transporting oxygen through your bloodstream, as well as providing a key building block of muscle tissue. One thing I found interesting is that caffeinated products will counteract with your iron intake… so wait a couple hours after eating or taking your iron supplement.

The next important dietary need is calcium, (you know, all that stress on your bones in running). If you don’t drink milk, purchase calcium added products (soy dream, rice milk, orange juice).

Can’t believe I’m saying this, but the third most important thing to include is FAT, from nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocado but stay away from saturated fats (which mainly come from animal products. ewww).

Notice the lack of white flour and sugar in this list? Yup. Need to cut those out!

Awesome list of foods adapted from Running For Fitness

Saving my Skin

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Since amping my mileage to train for these half marathons, I’ve noticed it stressing my skin… so I slap on a little sunblock and keep my face clear of sweat (by wiping it down every 3 minutes), but my feet haven’t been so lucky. I keep my toenails painted pink to help out, but my poor feet are covered in blisters and and finally calluses. Thankfully I’ve been saved from the notorious fungus that runners usually complain about.

Since I wanted to run trails, I ended up buying an awesome pair of Salomon XR CrossMax 1, which are incredibly stiff and gave me huuuuge blisters for two months after running in them. I read in my awesome Runners Word magazine that I needed thicker socks, so I proceeded to steal my husbands on a regular basis since I’ve given him about 100 pair of running socks over the last year and a half. He thinks this gives him free reign to tease me about everything of his that I “borrow”. Like his sweatpants that have had their ownership transferred to me. I can’t help it I’m always cold. Or his sweatshirts when we’re on the boardwalk. Or his shirts to sleep in. Now his socks.

In my opinion, he has absolutely no grounds for his teasing.

Anyways, about protecting our skin and feet. Apparently if they get wet (from sweat or mud or rain), the trapped moisture can cause maceration (when the skin looks paler than the surrounding skin) and is prone to fungal infections (Runners World). Ewwww (Just did a foot check to look at my between-the-toe-skin-color. I’m safe.)

The most helpful thing I can pass along is keeping clean, Keeping the running clothes and socks clean. Products like Blister Aid (Mission Athletecare blister Armour Anti-Friction stick) will definitely help with the blisters! Annnnnd lastly, Stuff the shoes with newspaper to dry them out between runs.